19 for 2019

For those of you who read my blog post, The greatest gift, you’ll know that one of my tasks for the festive season was to finalise a ’19 for 2019′ list. To be clear, this is not a list of new year’s resolutions – it should not include sweeping, general, ambitions. The purpose of this exercise is to define 19 tasks which contribute towards your broader goals for the year. Alternatively, they could have been nagging to-dos for the duration of the prior year and will give a sense of fulfilment and achievement once completed. I would recommend adding in some tasks which are easier to achieve than others, those which require less brain-power or investment of time.

It took me a few weeks to ponder on my ’19 for 2019′ and by 31st December I had finalised my list. And yet, because it was only written in my bullet journal, it seemed like there was still the possibility of swapping items in and out depending on my mood i.e. how ambitious I felt. The mental gymnastics of considering the viability of my list was starting to detract from taking action. Instead of starting the year with purpose, my head was still in the clouds debating the bigger picture.

And so, as of last night, I decided enough was enough. The whole purpose of this list is to move one’s life forward in incremental steps to achieve the bigger goals of the year. Forward, I have to go. One way to ensure that I stay on the straight and narrow is to create accountability. While my ’19 for 2019′ list seems intrinsically personal – a window into my hopes and ambitions for the year – I feel that I should put it ‘out there’ in order to keep that forward momentum. Here goes…

  1. Move House
  2. Purchase new sets of towels to replace the old (this badly needs doing but is something I keep putting off because who seems them? Me!).
  3. Have teeth whitened (sheer vanity, I know, but I work with lots of Americans who all have gorgeous teeth)
  4. Read the surplus books on my shelves before buying more. Then read according to my planned reading schedule.
  5. Read key philosophical texts & understand the broader schools of thought.
  6. Start/complete CISSP qualification
  7. Start/complete a coaching qualification
  8. Prepare and submit PhD application for a late 2019 or early 2020 start
  9. Travel to Rome (pure pleasure)
  10. Travel to Berlin (brush up on language skills)
  11. Commit to or join a yoga centre (seriously, I’m bored of hearing myself say “I should take up yoga regularly”)
  12. Learn to play squash (and force anybody else I know to teach me)
  13. Go to the Ultimate Fitness bootcamp in Thailand
  14. Volunteer for a women’s charity (suggestions welcome)
  15. Actively participate in a London-based women’s network
  16. Join a sobriety group/community
  17. Promote/grow blog writing
  18. Diversify income
  19. Confidential (work related)

It also occurred to me that by posting my list, I’m offering myself up as a possible accountability partner for others who are contemplating some aspirational goals and would like support or a second opinion. For instance, after reading The greatest gift, a colleague of mine has also decided to pursue the CISSP qualification as part of their ’19 for 2019′. We’ve both agreed to research the various routes we could take and then make a joint pitch to our manager for the funding. Not only does this divide the labour, but we can prepare better for any challenges and it adds more weight to the request than going it alone. This partnership also means a study-buddy is close at hand throughout the journey.

Ultimately, while this list is about my own development, it also integrates and depends upon connections with others in order to reach my goals. We are not islands; we cannot achieve without the support, help and guidance from others. We all need a champion.

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